Changed Lives

Jenny’s Story
The Secret Sauce of Success

Life hasn’t been easy for Jenny.

First, her father died of cancer when she was pregnant. As if that wasn’t bad enough, she and her husband split up … leaving Jenny to parent solo. After she and her son moved in with her ailing mother, Jenny “took over fixing things around the house like my dad used to do,” she says. “I was also a nurse, so I helped my mom with her health issues.”

But Jenny had health problems of her own. And due to her degenerative discs and rheumatoid arthritis, “I ended up having a bad fall and dislocating my right kneecap severely,” she remembers. “I was in a leg cast for four months.”

Things only got worse from there. “One week after that injury, my mom was in the hospital. She had heart failure on top of her other health issues. I ended up taking care of her full time until she passed away.”

Even after downsizing, the medical bills wiped Jenny out so she couldn’t even pay rent. Her son moved in with his dad, but Jenny had nowhere to go — until she found Crossroads and your kindness.

Here, Jenny found warmth and acceptance and rediscovered her love of cooking that she’d learned from her dad! “He always wanted to bottle his barbecue sauce recipe,” she says. “I’m going to call it, My Dad and Me Gourmet Barbecue Sauce.”

Jenny knows without your support of Crossroads, “I could have ended up on the street. I didn’t have anybody else to turn to.”

Your kind support helps neighbors like Jenny discover a new zest for life and the sweet taste of success!

Clay’s Story
A Lifelong Struggle

Clay has struggled with alcohol at every stage of his life since he was just 12.

As a young man, Clay served in the military — first in the Navy, then as a Marine paratrooper in Desert Storm. But sadly, his time in active war zones gave Clay PTSD. Even though he doesn’t talk about his service much, he still has nightmares about what he went through.

After returning to civilian life, Clay took a steady job working for his father’s company, got married and had three kids. Life seemed stable and happy for a time. But sadly, it didn’t last. Clay’s difficulties with drinking continued off and on. And when the family fell on hard times, it got even worse. After 17 years of marriage, he and his wife divorced.

By the time Clay arrived at Crossroads and discovered the kindness of friends like you, he was searching for a better road to follow. “Crossroads helped me get the avenues I needed,” he says, “because where I was in my life, I could not.

“I’m going to continue contributing to this place and their mission because they are awesome,” he continues. “They learn what our needs are and try to help us. If it weren’t for Crossroads, I might be dead.

“I think that they are angels sent from God, and I don’t know what I would do without them.”

We don’t know what WE would do without friends like YOU! Thank you for making it possible for more of your neighbors like Clay to find the help they need!

Justin’s Story
From Heart Failure to Hope

Justin has always been searching for purpose in his life. Finally, after coming to Crossroads Mission Avenue, he found it.

Growing up in Columbus, he got in trouble a lot, using drugs, and making reckless decisions. Ultimately, it landed him in prison in Texas. While there, he accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior.

Upon release, Justin returned to a life of drugs and homelessness — but deep down, he knew something had changed. After he had a pulmonary episode, the hospital sent him to Crossroads to recover and get clean. He learned he had experienced heart failure. Since, he has gotten sober, begun attending worship and focusing on his relationship with God, all with the help of the Mission.

After experiencing heart failure, Justin was told he didn’t have much time to live. Nevertheless, he decided to embrace his purpose: to spend time with loved ones and trust in the Lord to show him the way.

“Crossroads was not just accommodating of me staying there with my limited ability to do things, but also with the emotional stuff that I was going through with that diagnosis,” Justin says. “My diagnosis is terminal. But it reminded me that I had to trust God and know that’s part of his plan.”

Thanks to you, people like Justin receive the help and hope they need — and a fresh start!

Darin’s Story
“Ever since the day I arrived, my life has gotten better”

Late last year, Darin wondered if his young sons would even have a Christmas, much less anything to celebrate. The three of them – Darin and his sons, ages 3 and 1 – had just fled a domestic abuse situation. Darin’s wife, a recovering alcoholic, had relapsed and become violent. She ended up going to jail. Darin also had a history of addictions, but was working to turn things around, especially when his wife – now his ex – became abusive around their children.

And those kids needed a devoted parent. Landon, the 3-year-old, has severe autism and is nonverbal. Elijah, 1, was born 10 weeks premature and spent his first four months in the hospital. Both boys need special attention, and it takes a special parent to give it. Darin wanted to be that Dad. So he went to Crossroads Mission Avenue in search of help and hope. And he found plenty of both.

“Ever since the day I arrived, my life has gotten better,” says Darin, who lives in the Lodge Apartments with his boys. “I had my own space. And my boys were safe.”

With some financial challenges of his own, Darin worried that he wouldn’t be able to provide much of a Christmas for his kids. But thanks to friends like you, he didn’t have to worry. The team at Crossroads made sure that Landon and Elijah got Christmas presents, and that the whole family was well fed and cared for.

Darins says that kind of love and support has been a hallmark all along. “Everybody at Crossroads has been nothing but open-armed and caring,” he says. “They love me and my boys like we’re their own.”

Darin, who recently celebrated a year of sobriety, also says Crossroads has been instrumental in his recovery. “It has not been an easy journey,” he says, “but I’ve worked really hard. I’m thankful for Crossroads and all their resources and support. They worked with me when I’ve gone through a rough patch. They help hold me accountable. I can’t tell you how much they’ve helped me.”

And not just in his recovery. Darin says Crossroads has also helped restore his self-image. “My sense of self, my sense of being a man, my sense of being a father,” he says. “They loved me when I didn’t feel like loving myself.”

His self-confidence restores, Darin is looking forward to the day when he can live independently again – “just a little home for me and my boys,” he says. It’s a next step he says wouldn’t have been possible without your support. “If it weren’f for Crossroads, my life would be miserable,” he says. “But thanks to you, my future looks very bright.”

Thank you for giving families help, hope, and a bright future!


Kim’s Story
“Crossroads has been a blessing to our family.”

It was the day after Thanksgiving. And Kim, her longtime partner, Travis, and their 12-year-old grandson, Tegan, had no place to go. They had lost their housing after a conflict with another family member, and now, with winter fast approaching, they needed a place. They worried about having to sleep in their car.

Fortunately, thanks to your support, it didn’t come to that. They came to Crossroad Mission Avenue and got the help – and the housing – they needed. Travis stayed in the men’s part of the facility, and Kim and Tegan stayed in the women’s/family section, sharing a room with bunk beds. (Tegan more than happily sleeps in the top bunk!)

In a move from another state, Kim had lost her Medicaid, SNAP benefits and assistance for Tegan. Crossroads staff helped her get it all back.

But now there was another problem: Finances were tight, and Christmas was just around the corner. Twelve-year-old boys don’t want to be disappointed at the most wonderful time of year.

Tegan wasn’t disappointed! Crossroads’ Giving Tree program made sure of that. He received a football, basketball, soccer ball, jeans and shirts as gifts. He was pretty thrilled about that. Kim was too. “Crossroads has been a blessing to our family,” she says. “They’re kind people.”

Kim and her family recently moved into their own independent housing. Thank you for helping them land on their feet!

Jeffrey’s Story
“They’re good people here. Just like family.”

In life, it’s nice to know somebody’s got your back. But when Jeffrey’s back gave out – due to spinal arthritis – he wasn’t sure if anybody had his. He’d burned too many bridges with his alcoholism. He’d lost his job, his marriage and his housing, all due to his drinking.

When he walked – just barely – into the hospital with his back falling apart, he had nowhere else to turn. But the hospital has his back, in more ways than one. Once they’d fixed his spine, they asked if he had a place to go. Jeffrey said no.

So the hospital arranged for him to go to Crossroads Mission Avenue where – thanks to your kindness – the staff has had his back every step of the way. They’ve helped physically; he has a walker. And they’ve helped mentally and spiritually too, by giving him the strength to quit drinking.

“I quit cold turkey,” says Jeffrey, 66, who started drinking as a teen and kept it up for 50 years. “I don’t want to drink again. After what happened to me in the past, no thank you. It’s time to say no.”

While at Crossroads, Jeffrey is paying off some medical debt and saving for a car and, eventually, a place of his own. He says that without Crossroads, “I would have been on the streets. They’re good people here. Just like family.”

Your kindness brings that feeling of family to Crossroads. Thank you!

Alayna’s Story
“A Divine Intervention”

This Thanksgiving, Alayna is grateful for friends like you who made it possible for her to land on her feet while at Crossroads.

A little over a year ago, her life started unraveling. She was a single mom trying to balance multiple jobs while also pursuing a nursing degree. Things got so overwhelming that she turned to meth to help her cope, and to make it through the day.

“Everything spiraled out of control relatively fast,” Alayna says. “My life was out of control.”

A possession charge landed her in jail for two weeks. Then the drug court program sent her to Crossroads to continue her rehab.

“I had hit rock bottom, and this was a ground zero moment,” she says. “But I knew I needed to do something. I had to completely surrender to the program, and to God. Coming here to Crossroads was all part of a divine intervention.”

Alayna says the love, support and encouragement from the Crossroads team helped her find hope and healing. She ended up working full time in one of our thrift stores, and is now that store’s manager.

“The thrift store has helped me be in a position to turn my life around,” she says. “I’ve regained the manageability that I had lost so quickly.”

During her almost yearlong stay at Crossroads, Alayna’s mother cared for her three children. She has since moved out of the shelter and into her own place, reunited with her boys, ages 10, 14 and 15.

“My oldest one told me that he couldn’t be more proud of me,” Alayna says. “He said he’s glad he can have somebody like me to look up to. That made me cry like a baby!”

We couldn’t be more proud of the way you help men, women and families find a fresh start. Thank you!

Patrick’s Story
“I Was Mad at God”

The last several years have been brutal for Patrick.

His mom died of emphysema and COPD. Then his best friend died of cancer.

Then his girlfriend passed away, also from cancer. “So I was mad at God for a long time,” says Patrick. “I couldn’t understand how He could take everyone that I loved and leave me here to suffer. The pain was unbearable, and I went down a dark, dark road.”

Patrick turned to meth to bury that pain, and he didn’t care if he lived or died. He was homeless, on the streets, stealing to feed his habit. There were brushes with the law.

A probation officer saw something in Patrick that he couldn’t see in himself, and decided that Crossroads was better than incarceration. That decision saved Patrick’s life.

“Crossroads helped me get back to where I am today,” says Patrick, who recently celebrated six months of sobriety. “They’ve helped me to appreciate the time I had with the people I loved, and not be angry. They helped me look at it with a different point of view.

“I’ve worked hard to change my life, and I know God has blessed me. And maybe he has a plan for me. He’ll let me know when it’s time.”

Your gift is life-changing for struggling neighbors in need of hope!

Kevin’s Story
“I Missed Being at Crossroads”

Nobody likes to be awakened in the middle of the night. Especially when it’s Christmas Day.

But that’s just what happened to 82 residents at our Hastings location. A pipe had burst, spilling water on our main electrical panel, shutting off all power. Local officials deemed the building unsafe, so everyone had to evacuate — immediately.

Local churches stepped in by setting up emergency shelters, and some of our residents had to travel up to 100 miles for shelter.

Kevin was one of them. He slept on a mattress on a church’s gym floor … for over a month. It took about five weeks to repair the electrical and plumbing damage at our Hastings facility.

“I missed being at Crossroads,” says Kevin, 56. “I was so glad to get back.”

And no wonder. Thanks to your support, Kevin, who had battled alcohol and depression for years, had found a fresh start and renewed hope at Crossroads.

“I’ve had a lot of hardship,” he says. “But Crossroads has told me to never give up, and I always keep those words in the back of my mind.

“Without Crossroads, I’d be homeless. I’m very happy here.”

Through your generous gift, you never give up on our neighbors in need. Thank you!

Teresa’s Story
“They Give People Hope”

Teresa believes her on-and-off struggles with alcohol are over, thanks to Crossroads Mission Avenue.

“Drinking, then not drinking, relapse after relapse,” she says. “But when you’re someplace where people care about you, it’s all good.”

That “someplace” is our Kearney shelter. But Teresa’s from Lexington, where we purchased property and opened a thrift store last fall. Work is underway to open a Lexington shelter in 2024, but that wasn’t soon enough for Teresa.

So she traveled the 35 miles to Kearney where her son had received help — and recommended Crossroads to her. Teresa, 57, has struggled with multiple health issues, including a brain aneurysm in 2021 that left her blind in one eye, and, more recently, back problems that resulted in surgery this spring.

She hasn’t been able to work in a couple years because of those struggles, and Crossroads is helping her get disability benefits.

Teresa hopes to live independently again someday, but she’s in no hurry to leave.

“Being in a shelter, I never dreamed it could be so good,” she says. “It wasn’t something I envisioned for my life. But Crossroads is exactly what I needed. It’s like a big family here. They give people hope.”

Thank you for helping your neighbors like Teresa find a place that feels like family!